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A group of dedicated volunteers from around Wyalkatchem have helped restore a water hole on a granite outcrop, which provides one of the most beautiful views of the Wheatbelt.

Derbidin Rock is owned privately, but it has been the hard work of local Aboriginal Elders, Aboriginal students from Northam TAFE, the Wyalkatchem Men’s Shed and Phil Lewis from WWF to bring the water hole back to good health.

The granite outcrop is surrounded by York gum woodlands, and is home to an historic well built by the early settlers. Early explorers took advice from local Aboriginals who were already using the area as a ngama, or watering hole, to locate the stone lined well nearby. Natural resource management group Wheatbelt NRM funded the project.

Phil Lewis who is WWF’s Healthy Bushland Project Officer based in Wyalkatchem, said over time there had been a build up of sediment and debris in the ngama.

“The ngama was full of green, soupy water and was surrounded by weeds and debris,” Phil Lewis said.

“Through talks with local Elder Kevan Davis and his wife Rose, we organised to get in and pump the water out of the ngama and remove the sediment.
“We kept a small amount of the top layer of mud which held the aquatic life including frogs and water beetles and replaced it after the work was finished.”

Wheatbelt NRM’s new Landcare Facilitator Mick Davis said the timing couldn’t have been better, after significant falls of rain since the work.

“The volunteers cleaned it out just in time and now it’s full of fresh rainwater and has become an excellent home for the aquatic life we have replaced,” Mick Davis said.

“Around 15 people worked hard over two separate days to restore the area, including fencing the old well. The Wylie Men’s Shed were keen to take part because they could see the benefit to the community and the environment, and they carried out a lot of the hard work. With their help, a fence has also been built to now protect people from accidently falling down the well.”

Wheatbelt NRM funded the project through the Australian Government’s Caring for our Country program.

All media enquiries to Mick Davis on 9690 2295 or mobile 0429 473 567.